A Red Deer man is in custody following a pursuit involving several Central Alberta RCMP detachments, which began with the attempted theft of a snowmobile near Sylvan Lake Dec. 5.
Sylvan Lake RCMP were called to a complaint of man attempting to steal a snowmobile after he broke into a residence near Sylvan Lake. When the suspect was caught by the homeowner trying to steal the snowmobile, the suspect pointed a hand gun at the homeowner and fled in a vehicle.
The homeowner pursued the suspect at a safe distance, and guided responding RCMP members in his direction.
RCMP responded to the area immediately and learned that two suspects in a vehicle were heading east on Rainy Creek Road near Highway 20. RCMP from Blackfalds and Rimbey also joined in the search for the suspects, whose vehicle was eventually located by RCMP in Bentley.
Upon being located, the two suspects fled on foot and were pursued by RCMP. One managed to get back to the vehicle and flee once again. Police then chased him east on Highway 12 outside Bentley town limits.
Police say the suspect at one point attempted to ram a pursuing police vehicle by backing up quickly toward it. The effort proved unsuccessful, and the pursuit continued.
Heading east on Highway 12, the suspect tried to avoid a spike belt on the road and entered the ditch, where he remained stuck due to deep snow.
Christopher Stephen Wales, 31, was arrested without further incident. Police found a small semi-automatic pistol inside his vehicle, and say it was easily within his reach.
Wales is now facing 24 charges in total, including, but not limited to, pointing a firearm, flight from police, assault, breach of probation and possession of a weapon for the purpose of committing an offence.
He was held in custody and scheduled a court appearance in Red Deer for Dec. 9.